Copper deficiency is a known cause of production loss in dairy and beef cattle but the signs are often misinterpreted. This leads to a failure to capture weight gains and production increases that could be available. A Merial trial on a Waikato dairy farm showed a 5-7% increase in milk protein and milk fat in copper supplemented animals1. Another farm trial in Raglan of beef heifers supplemented with copper showed a 27 kg weight gain compared with untreated herd mates over a 12-month period2. Liver biopsy is the best way to be sure of your herd’s copper levels.
Diagnosis is a complex exercise, and it helps to understand how copper is stored in body. Copper is absorbed from the diet into the bloodstream, and any excess is stored in the liver. The liver releases copper into the blood as required, keeping the blood levels reasonably constant. So, blood tests alone won’t show the level of reserves in the liver.
We like to use the analogy of the tank at the top of the hill feeding water into the trough at the bottom. You can check the trough level as much as you like but you won’t necessarily know how much water is in the tank up top. If you think of the liver as the tank at the top of the hill, and the blood as the trough at the bottom, you can figure out that the level of copper in the blood isn’t going to tell you how much copper your animals have stored.
You can be supplementing your herd with copper already but it won’t necessarily prevent them from becoming deficient. That’s because external factors can also inhibit the absorption of copper. Like molybdenum in the soil that’s good for making your clover grow fast, but interferes with how your cows absorb copper.
Annual biopsies on a small sample of up to a dozen of your animals can be done in a single visit, and are invaluable for monitoring copper levels over time.
If your biopsy results show copper deficiencies, we’ll recommend treatment with COPACAPS.
COPACAPS contain copper oxide wire particles in gelatine capsules and are the safest and most effective form of copper supplementation for cattle. After oral dosing, the capsule dissolves and releases small wire rods of oxidised copper which lodge in the folds of the abomasum. Its weight stops it being regurgitated, and in the acidic environment of the abomasum the rods dissolve. Copper is then released into the bloodstream and stored in the liver. They are a very safe form of supplementation and give long term protection against deficiency.
Elevated levels of copper in the liver can be expected for between four and eight months depending on dietary conditions. Strategic timing of a single dose can protect your herd for a whole year.
COPACAPS can be used for both treatment and prevention of copper deficiency.
COPACAPS contain cupric oxide rods inside a gelatine capsule. Capsules are consistently effective at raising liver copper stores.
Copper has a role in:
MEAT: Zero (0) days
MILK: Zero (0) days
Store in a cool dry place below 25 °C in original container.
COPACAPS 5 G:
Cupric oxide rods 5 g (equivalent to 4.2 g of elemental copper) in gelatine capsules. Available in a 100 x 5 g pack. Ideally suited for use in calves, fawns and adult sheep. To be administered orally: 1 x 5 g capsule per 50 kg liveweight.
COPACAPS 10 G
Cupric oxide rods 10 g (equivalent to 8.4 g of elemental copper) in gelatine capsules. Available in a 50 x 10 g pack. Indicated for use in cattle and deer. To be administered orally: 1 x 10 g capsule per 100 kg liveweight.
COPACAPS 20 G
Cupric oxide rods 20 g (equivalent to 16.8 g of elemental copper) in gelatine capsules. Available in a 50 x 20 g pack. Ideally suited for use in adult stags and cattle over 200 kg liveweight. To be administered orally: 1 x 20 g capsule per 200 kg liveweight.
COPACAPS 30 G
Cupric oxide rods 30 g (equivalent to 25.2 g of elemental copper) in gelatine capsules. Available in a 32 x 30 g pack. Ideally suited for use in cattle over 300 kg liveweight. To be administered orally: 1 x 30 g capsule per 300 kg liveweight.
COPACAPS 36 G
Cupric oxide rods 36 g (equivalent to 30.2 g of elemental copper) in gelatine capsules. Available in a 32 x 36 g pack. Ideally suited for use in cattle over 350 kg liveweight. To be administered orally: 1 x 36 g capsule per 350 kg liveweight.
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